- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Situation in Ukraine
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation amid Kiev's ongoing shelling of the DPR and LPR. President Vladimir Putin stated that the op is meant to protect the people of Donbass, and its goal is the complete demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine.

Russian MoD: Bodies of Tortured Civilians With Carved Out Swastikas Found in Mariupol Basements

© Sputnik / Ivan Rodionov / Go to the photo bankResidents leave the city of Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic.
Residents leave the city of Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2022
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Forces of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), with support from Russian troops, are currently fighting remnants of the Azov nationalist battalion in Mariupol. The DPR has already seized control of the city's suburbs and reportedly found a black site prison belonging to the nationalists at the airport.
The bodies of victims of Ukrainian nationalists have been found in the basements of buildings in Mariupol, some of them severely mutilated, the Russian Defence Ministry has reported. The ministry clarified that the basements were previously occupied by Ukrainian nationalist forces.
"Corpses of civilians were found with signs of inhuman torture. Neo-Nazi symbols and swastikas were carved on their bodies", the ministry said.
The head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre, Mikhail Mizintsev, further said that some of the civilians rescued from Mariupol have shared stories about neo-Nazi fighters throwing grenades into basements filled with women and children.
Mizintsev also reported that members of the Azov nationalist battalion had shelled civilians trying to withdraw cash from ATMs or trying to get humanitarian aid, using mortars installed on various vehicles. He said that these attacks claimed lives of thee and left 10 more injured.
The Defence Ministry's report comes as forces of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), together with Russian troops, are clearing Mariupol of the remaining forces of Ukraine’s Azov nationalist battalion. Russian forces were deployed to Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin responded to a request from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) for protection, giving the order for the special military operation on 24 February.
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